International Orangutan Day - 19 August 2014
We’re celebrating International Orangutan Day today, 19 August, with the release of a portrait of two infant orangutans at our centre in Ketapang, West Borneo. Rocky and Rickina have been inseparable since they completed quarantine and started ‘baby school’ where they are developing the skills and the strength they will need when they are eventually released back into the wild.
It is likely that both orangutans’ mothers were killed trying to protect their babies from human attackers and Rickina still bears a scar from the machete that probably killed her mother. However, in spite of their traumatic past, both young infants are doing well, thanks to the expert care of International Animal Rescue’s team of vets, babysitters, general staff and volunteers.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, Programme Director of IAR Indonesia, said: “The plight of the orangutan in Indonesia is absolutely dire. Their habitat continues to be destroyed at a breathtaking rate to make way for palm oil plantations and other forms of industrial agriculture. Our message on International Orangutan Day is that we must all play our part in trying to protect orangutans like Rocky and Rickina by refusing to buy products containing palm oil wherever possible. The scale of the problem is huge and, if we don’t all do as much as we can to address it, the orangutan will disappear from Borneo and Sumatra forever.”
International Animal Rescue’s team in West Borneo has rescued 100 orangutans and more than 70 of them are now in IAR’s centre in Ketapang, undergoing rehabilitation in preparation for reintroduction into protected areas of rainforest.
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